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July 28 2014

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Everything You Need to Know About What Beyoncé Wore in the “Run” Video

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run5While you were asleep last weekend, Jay Z and Beyoncé released a faux movie trailer that doubles as a promotional video for their upcoming, co-headlining On the Run tour. Perhaps it’s not surprising that the artist who managed to shoot a whopping seventeen videos in secrecy for her self-titled visual album would put together another massive project under the radar. But that doesn’t make it any less impressive that Bey and Jay were able to film a theatrical, production-quality teaser with cameos from Hollywood heavyweights Sean Penn, Jake Gyllenhaal, Blake Lively, Don Cheadle, Rashida Jones and her sister Kidada, Emmy Rossum, and Guillermo Díaz—all over the course of only three days.

“The funny thing is the name of the song is ‘Run’ and everything about the video was super last-minute and fast,” says stylist Mariel Haenn, who rose to the task of putting together upwards of ten outfits just for Beyoncé on extremely short notice. Haenn, who was recruited for the project by director Melina Matsoukas, came up with a modern take on the couple’s “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” style, swapping out Bey’s beret for a balaclava. Haenn’s detail-oriented approach is evident in everything from Bey’s blood-splattered, white-lace Givenchy suit to the real leather gun holster she wears while dancing for Jay Z in bed. We talked to Haenn, who worked alongside her styling partner Rob Zangardi, about the mad dash to come up with enough outfits, getting the blood just right on the Givenchy suit, and styling with guns.

How was the project explained to you?
It was introduced as a music video but shot as if it was a movie trailer, so it had a much bigger production than a music video, especially with all of the cameos. The director [Melina Matsoukas] is one of my best friends. We’ve worked together a lot, so she wrote the treatment and sent it to me. When we were first talking about it, I was like, “How many outfits do you think?” She was like, “Maybe fifteen”—and she’s known for shooting a lot of looks and focusing on fashion. I didn’t know how we were going to get fifteen looks, but at the end of the shoot we had done at least ten looks just for Beyoncé.

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With as many looks as there are, were you surprised by how much time each one got on the screen?
No, because I’ve been doing this for about fourteen years. At the end of the day, songs are only [a few] minutes long.

How did you think about the way that each look would function within its scene?
There’s a story line, so we broke down the setups and talked through what Beyoncé would be doing in each setup and went from there. The overall vibe of the video was kind of gritty, street. It had a little bit of a Western vibe, which is cool because she’s from Texas, so we were able to get a little New York, a little Texas, and a little sparkle in.

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How did the Western look come about?
It was a red sequined bandana-print bodysuit with fringe on the back. I was digging through a dirty costume rental shop in L.A. called Palace, and it was shoved in between clothes high up on a rack.

It seems like you pulled from a very wide spectrum of places.
Yeah. She wound up wearing a lot of vintage, some high-end designers, but a lot of less-expensive clothing. The T-shirt she wears is from Nasty Gal. The shorts were from One Teaspoon. There’s a pink plastic skirt that’s from American Apparel. It was a good combination of high and low.

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As far as the white Givenchy suit she’s wearing, what was the process like of splattering the fake blood across it?
It’s funny because we were all standing there nervous to do it because once you do it, it’s done. Her mom [Tina Knowles] thought the outfit was so beautiful and was like, “No, don’t ruin it.” But the adding of the blood was amazing and awesome for the concept of the video. I told her, “Those are the kind of pieces that you can frame or put somewhere that will be iconic down the road.” For the process, at first her makeup artist was trying to do it carefully and a little bit at a time, and then Melina said we needed a bit more. So Beyoncé started dumping it on herself and it was working. She just grabbed it and went for it.

So Beyoncé was pretty hands-on.
She trusts Melina and they’ve shot a lot of videos together. Everyone was on the same page, which is great when we were working together for the first time. We had a fitting the night before and figured out looks, so when we saw her on set the next day, we had figured out the outfits she liked. The things that took a little longer were just the basics, like the black leather bra she’s wearing under the fur. We tried a couple different versions of bra tops to wear underneath it. We just wanted to find the perfect one.

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Did you work with all of the actors?
Initially Melina asked me to have some stuff on standby, and we dressed Blake Lively, but I believe Emmy [Rossum] brought her cop uniform. Everyone else sort of brought their own thing and we just guided them and gave them pieces if they needed something.

Are there any interesting stories behind the props?
The gun holster Beyoncé’s wearing in the striptease scene is a legitimate holster we purchased with a real gun that’s fixed to use on set. It’s completely legal and the gun doesn’t work. It was really heavy and the leather was really hard. When you’re using legitimate gun holsters and props, it adds a feeling of dangerousness and excitement versus doing fake costumes.

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Dept. of Culture